Overall Satisfaction with Epicor Eclipse
Epicor's Eclipse is the business system for Revere Electric Supply. It is used for the entire business cycle: quote management and order entry, purchasing, receiving, managing inventory, delivery logistics, invoicing, AR, AP, finance, commissions, and reporting. Eclipse ties into several 3rd party products for additional features, such as Avalara for tax calculations, Vantiv for secure credit card processing, Phocas for business intelligence and dashboards, and Innovo for remote data collection and delivery logistics. There are only a few areas of the distribution business that Epicor Eclipse does not have a solution, but for those areas there seem to be several choices of 3rd party vendors and good integration.
- The order entry process is very smooth, allowing users to see availability and immediately source unavailable items from vendors or other branches with single keystrokes or clicks. You can choose what columns of information display in order entry to help order writers make decisions.
- A set of built-in and unlimited user-defined "queues" allow users to be pro-active - always knowing what needs to be taken care of in real time. A "Trouble" queue, for example, shows a user their orders where the available date is further out than the requested date so they can take action.
- The RF warehouse system directs one or more pickers through the entire process of picking a customer's order and eliminates mistakes through scanning barcodes for both the shelf location and the product. The Carton Packing add-on can be used to verify quantities and products during packing, and product labels that indicate the order shipping information along with the package contents and quantities.
- Eclipse does not do cross-docking well. If you have multiple branches and want to effectively move material for specific orders between a stocking branch and a delivering branch, you may want to work partially outside of Eclipse. The system will direct you to pick, pack, and transfer the product. You then have to receive and verify the quantities and material and put it away to make it available to pick, pack, and ship to the customer.
Yes - The move to Eclipse was to modernize our business system with a move to a Windows user interface, and with the expectation that the application would continue to improve. Our prior Array-based system was capable, but with limitations of a terminal emulator interface, and reliance on a mainframe computer with a related IBM service contract. Eclipse can run on any right-sized Linux box or even a virtual server. The migration process was painful, but any migration is painful due to differences in processes and data. Since our initial conversion in 2005, we have acquired other companies and successfully converted their data without our customers experiencing any significant downtime.
Change management was a minor issue with the implementation -
- You can never have enough training.
- Consider your training of end users as an opportunity to discover pain points, and address those with all similar users.
- During training, identify any users who are quicker to pick up on how the new system works. Make them official Super Users that can help with questions when you go live on the new software.
- Establish lines of communication so everyone knows who they should go to with issues.
- You can never have enough training
- Eclipse initially and continuously allows us to stay ahead of our regional competition in the electrical distribution industry.
- We can see this impact when comparing our statistics with others in the NAED/BAM where we typically outperform them by one to four percentage points in sales growth year over year.
Since we have been on Eclipse for 13 years, our only comparison to other business systems is when training new employees and ask those new users their opinions during training. In general, nearly all new users of Solar Eclipse are impressed by the ease of use, ease of navigation, and the range of features. The one area where many had felt Eclipse was lacking was in reporting. We are addressing that with a combination of real-time SQL synchronization which allows for expanded reporting using any of the tools available for reporting on SQL databases, and the 3rd party Phocas reporting solution for dashboards.
Eclipse is well suited for quick order entry where the source is a formal purchase order document or a phone call with a known customer. In these scenarios the order entry process is quick, and order processing is smooth even if the customer has a lot of "special" requests like shipping part today and holding the rest or shipping some of the order to other addresses. Eclipse also works well if you have a good database of products, especially in searching for products where only partial information is known or finding existing orders where all you know for sure is the customer. It is not particularly well suited for Point of Sale where a walk-in customer who doesn't have an account wants products for which part numbers are not known, due to the requirements to release an order for a customer with no credit.
Epicor Eclipse Feature Ratings
Using Epicor Eclipse
300 - Eclipse is used by everyone in the company: AP, AR, finance, sales, purchasing, pricing, customer service, warehouse, inventory management, delivery drivers, even HR. Some business functions are not completely done in Eclipse due to limitations in the software, or our choice to remain on a separate system. For example, our expense reporting/reimbursement is not done in Eclipse, although Eclipse has some capabilities for expense reporting and employees can be added as Vendors for cutting reimbursement checks.
3 - Eclipse can be supported by one subject matter expert (SME) per 100 employees. At our company, 3 people in the role of Business Systems Analyst perform every-day help-desk services and develop standard operating procedures, tips and tricks, and how-to documentation. A person in this role should have a good understanding of the operations of customer service, purchasing, pricing, warehouse logistics, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. They also need to be intimately familiar with the features and functionality of Solar Eclipse. Alternatively, you could have SMEs for Operations and a separate SME for accounting help, or further, subdivide as needed depending on the size of your company and the skills of your users. It is also necessary to have one or more users that understand the underlying data structure of Eclipse for the purpose of mass loading information, or making global rule-based changes: for instance, a support person should be able to change the credit limit for all customers in a certain territory based on annual sales under a certain dollar amount, and a total open AR of a certain dollar amount.